Oct. 5, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — After finding itself trailing for the first time all season, No. 1 Notre Dame made sure that deficit didn’t last long, as senior All-America forward/Hermann Trophy candidate Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored twice in a span of 86 seconds to help the Irish race past fellow BIG EAST Conference divisional leader Marquette, 3-1 on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 1,785 fans at Alumni Field. Bock’s fellow All-American and Hermann Trophy candidate, senior forward Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas/Allen) assisted on her linemate’s first goal before converting the clinching penalty kick in the 88th minute to become Notre Dame’s all-time leader with 213 points (76 goals, 61 assists), passing Jenny Streiffer (211 from 1996-99).
“It’s a tremendous honor and something I couldn’t possibly do without my teammates,” Hanks said. “I think it means even more for this to happen on a weekend when we have been celebrating our program’s 20th anniversary. All of us on the current team are trying to do all we can to follow in the footsteps of the great Notre Dame players, like Jenny Streiffer, who took this program to another level and have made Irish soccer what it is today.”
“Kerri is the consummate player and a wonderful ambassador for our program and this university,” Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum added. “You saw in this game what she brings to this team on a day-in, day-out basis. She and the other seniors, like Brittany (Bock) and (senior defender/co-captain) Carrie Dew, absolutely refused to lose and took it upon themselves to make sure we stayed composed and focused after we went behind. I’m so proud of our team for adapting to the different styles and strategies that we’re seeing, and I think we’ll continue to apply the things we learn from these games in the future.”
Notre Dame (12-0-0, 5-0-0 BIG EAST National) controlled the run of play for much of the second half and finished with a 32-11 shot advantage, with an 8-6 edge in shots on goal. The Irish also trumped the Golden Eagles with a 10-0 margin on corner kicks, while MU’s physical style resulted in a 19-12 spread on fouls.
After not being tested at all in the previous two games, junior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) had a busy afternoon on Sunday, stopping a career-high five shots to preserve the victory.
Marquette (7-4-2, 3-1-1 BIG EAST American) saw its five-game unbeaten streak snapped, despite a 60th-minute goal from Danielle Martens. Goalkeeper Natalie Kulla went the distance for the Golden Eagles, making four saves, while the MU defense also was credited with a team save.
The Golden Eagles attacked Notre Dame from the outset, squeezing off four shots in the first eight minutes and change, although none wound up on frame. As it turned out, the Irish defense would allow just two more shots (both on goal) during the next 51 minutes leading up to the Marquette score. In the meantime, Notre Dame cranked up its high-powered offense, earning seven corner kicks and tallying 15 shots in the first half, highlighted by a pair of three-shot flurries in the penalty area midway through the period.
The Irish looked to have a golden opportunity to break through in the 24th minute, when senior back Elise Weber (Elk Grove, Ill./St. Viator’s Academy) sent a cross into the box that found junior forward Michele Weissenhofer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) unmarked in the goal mouth from 15 yards away, but she misfired on a left-footed volley attempt and Hanks’ follow-up sailed wide of the target. Marquette got its best look with just over five minutes left until halftime, with Kristi Laurenzi trapping a cross 12 yards out on the left side of the box, but her shot went safely into Lysander’s waiting mitts.
Tied at the half for just the fourth time all season, Notre Dame stormed out of the locker room with a purpose, firing off seven shots in the first nine minutes of the second half, but none of them found the mark. Moments later, the Irish were back on the attack, with sophomore midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) getting open on the right flank. However, as she went to play the squared-off pass from junior midfielder Courtney Rosen (Brecksville, Ohio/Hathaway Brown), Augustin was roughly dispossessed from behind and Marquette took off on a counterattack. Julia Victor served a long lead pass for Mertens, who tracked down the ball in the right channel, cut past a defender and slipped a shot past Lysander into the low right corner of the net (59:06).
While the Golden Eagles celebrated their score, Notre Dame expertly kept its poise in spite of the unfamiliar deficit. Just two minutes after Marquette took the lead, Bock won a ball at midfield and sprang Hanks on a long run down the left wing. Hanks made a nice move at the left endline and drove a pass back into the heart of the box, where Bock was trailing the play. The veteran frontliner settled the ball, dribbled once to her right and lofted a perfectly-placed chip over Kulla and into the upper right corner of the MU net (61:06).
The goal seemed to flip the momentum squarely in Notre Dame`s favor and the Irish weren’t about to let it get away. Just 1:26 after Bock’s goal, Weissenhofer unleashed one of her powerful flip-throws from the right sideline 25 yards from goal. The ball sailed into the area, where Bock got loose at the edge of the six-year box and soared high above the Marquette defense to flick a header low into the far left sidenetting (62:32). It was the first multi-goal game of the season for Bock, who had just one goal on the season entering Sunday’s contest.
Suddenly trailing by a goal, the Golden Eagles tried to throw the kitchen sink at Notre Dame, managing three shots on goal down the stretch, but all three were from distance and not a serious threat to get past Lysander. At the same time, the Irish pressed for the clincher, and got it when sophomore forward Taylor Knaack (Arlington, Texas/Martin) came on in the 86th minute and almost instantly slashed between two MU defenders into the area before being dragged down just left of the six-yard box for a penalty kick. Hanks then stepped up and hammered her shot past a diving Kulla for her 12th goal of the season and the Notre Dame career points record (87:31).
Notre Dame now embarks on a four-game BIG EAST road swing beginning Friday when it travels to No. 18/19 Georgetown for a 3 p.m. (ET) contest in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas had an unexpected break in their schedule this weekend, with both of their games postponed due to an outbreak of norovirus on the Georgetown campus — the status of Notre Dame’s trip to GU will be determined early this week after consultation between athletic department officials from both schools and the local health authorities.
— ND —
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame is the only Division I team in the country that is still unbeaten and untied, and one of only six in all NCAA divisions; others are Division II members Grand Valley State (12-0) and West Virginia Wesleyan (9-0), as well as Division III entities Principia (13-0), Penn State-Altoona (11-0) and Williams (8-0) … the Irish extended their current goalscoring streak to 37 games, the third-longest in school history, dating back to a 0-0 tie against Michigan in last year’s season opener (Aug. 31, 2007) at Alumni Field … Notre Dame has scored 3+ goals in its last five games (19 total in that span) … the Irish also logged 25+ shots for the fourth time this year, including each of the past two games (59 total); the 32 shots against Marquette were a MU opponent record and the second-most for Notre Dame this season (34 vs. Michigan on Aug. 22) … the Irish take a 4-3-1 series lead on the Golden Eagles, who made their only other trip to Alumni Field on Sept. 27, 1996 (a 5-0 ND win); Notre Dame also earned its first regular-season win over Marquette since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST in 2005 (the Irish won twice in the BIG EAST semifinals in 2005 and 2006, but MU handed visiting ND a 4-1 loss on Sept. 30, 2005, in the teams’ only prior BIG EAST regular-season encounter) … Notre Dame’s unbeaten streak against conference opponents now stands at a school-record 43 games (41-0-2), the third-longest string in NCAA history, dating back to that 2005 loss at Marquette; Florida (50) and North Carolina (55) own the top two spots on that list … the Irish also stretched their home unbeaten streak against conference foes to 82 games (81-0-1) since Connecticut became the lone BIG EAST opponent to win at Alumni Field (5-4 in OT on Oct. 6, 1995) … in addition to breaking the Notre Dame career points record, Hanks moved past Streiffer and current U.S. National Team captain Christie (Pearce) Rampone into 14th place on the NCAA all-time points list; playing at Monmouth, Pearce had 212 points (79G-54A) from 1993-96; next up for Hanks are three players tied for 11th place with 214 points (Penn State’s Tiffany Weimer, North Texas’ Marilyn Marin and BYU’s Shauna Robhock), while Penn State’s Christie Welsh currently stands in 10th place with 216 career points … Hanks also jumped into a tie for 23rd place on the NCAA career goals list with 76, matching Seton Hall’s Kelly Smith (1997-99) … Hanks added another lesser-known school record to her resume on Sunday, teaming with Bock for the most career gamewinning goals by Notre Dame classmates after Bock potted the tandem’s 36th GWG (Hanks – 21, Bock – 15) to pass the 35 gamewinners by Michelle McCarthy and Rosella Guerrero from 1992-95 … Bock moved into a tie for 13th place on the Notre Dame career goals chart with 43 scores, equaling the total amassed by Susie Zilvitis from 1988-91 … Bock’s second score against Marquette was her 21st career header goal and her eighth in the past 11 scores, dating back to the end of last season … speaking of 2007, the Bock-Weissenhofer connection on the flip throw/header goal was reminiscent of the opening score in last year’s NCAA round-of-16 win at North Carolina, when the duo hooked up in nearly the exact same manner at 12:41 before Weissenhofer intercepted a soft Tar Heel backpass on the ensuing kickoff and scored 14 seconds later for the fastest two-goal flurry in NCAA Championship history (helping the Irish to a 3-2 win and eventually their ninth NCAA College Cup appearance) … Weissenhofer notched her seventh career assist off a flip throw, thanks to Sunday’s pinpoint accuracy.